As 21st century people, we’re pretty used to rapid innovation. After all, the very notion of this blog is less than 20 years old. Some of the innovations that we can’t live without… phones that double as personal computers, cloud storage, digital transmission… must have seemed like a distant pipe dream before we had them. Though sometimes, when I’m downloading a song to my iPhone, I do have to just stop for a second and marvel at how rapidly the process of acquiring music has changed.
Sometimes the pace of change is so fast that we don’t realize that combining these innovations can be a huge leap forward in itself. Well, the city of Houston, Texas is “literally” going to turn trash into treasure. With the revolutionary ‘One Bin For All’ plan, citizen waste disposal and recycling will become a relic of the past. Houston, under Mayor Annise Parker’s leadership, wants to create a state-of-the-art waste facility that will specialize in ‘total reuse’… reclaiming recyclables from every piece of trash in the city. The plant will combine the lastest technology of digital imaging, filtering and sorting to create a high-speed, high accuracy concept. If successful, this would cut down the city’s landfill usage by a whopping 75 percent.
Of course a plant like this is expensive… with an estimated cost of $100 million dollars. But by turning all city trash into net recycling, the city creates jobs, saves time, and wastes less. And of course the payback to the environment is even better than money could buy. As an entry in the Bloomberg initiative, Houston has the chance to make One Bin For All a reality.
This is not to say that there aren’t other fantastic finalists in the Mayor’s challenge… I would encourage you to check out all of the entries through Huffington Post. But this blogger’s all in with One Bin For All.